Category Archives: Court Cases

Lawrence Wollersheim vs Scientology – Reviewing a Historical Win

I was reading an Ex-Jehova Witness blog today about the Watchtowers official stance on Shunning. It referenced a Wikipedia article on shunning, so I took a few minutes to read it. That article then referenced a 1986 court case Wollersheim v. Church of Scientology of California. I had never heard of this case before, I mean why would I? I have only been out of Scientology about 2 years now and haven’t taken the time to research many of it’s past legal cases, it’s a part time hobby just informing myself of all the current cases and stories.

But Wollersheim v. Church of Scientology of California caught my eye -

Lawrence Wollersheim, a former Scientologist, successfully argued that he had been harassed and his photography business nearly destroyed as a result of Fair Game measures. Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Game_(Scientology)  These included getting Scientologist employees to resign, and Scientologist customers to boycott or refuse to pay him. The 1986 judgment by a Los Angeles jury was upheld by the California Court of Appeal in 1989.

During appeals, the Church again claimed Fair Game was a “core practice” of Scientology and was thus constitutionally protected “religious expression”. The court decided that the Church’s campaign “to ruin Wollersheim economically, and possibly psychologically” should be discouraged rather than protected. Twenty years after the start of the case, the Church paid Wollersheim a judgment, with interest, that amounted to over $8 Million.

The court decided “For reasons set forth in section II, we have concluded Scientology is not constitutionally immunized from civil liability for its cumulative course of conduct to intentionally inflict emotional injury on Wollersheim. However, this course of conduct does not supply a suitable predicate for a cause of action based on negligent infliction of emotional injury.

These actions are potentially actionable only when they are driven by an animus which can properly qualify them as “outrageous conduct.” That is, they must be done for the purpose of emotionally injuring the plaintiff, or at the least with reckless disregard about their adverse impact on plaintiff’s mental health. (III)”
Ref: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Wollersheim_v._Church_of_Scientology

In my opinion, any church who has policies on Shunning/Disconnection and Fair Game is intentionally trying to inflict emotional harm on it’s members as no doubt they enforce their “policies” by applying just the right amount of pressure to it’s members! But if it’s members would grow “a pair” and stand up for themselves and for their family and friends then we would see these so called ”churches” with less and less power over our lives!

Lawrence Wollersheim talks about Winning the largest court case in history against Scientology!

Lawrence Wollersheim talks with Anonymous

Lawrence is Co-Founder of Factnet.org, which is an acronym for Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network. Some of you may be familiar with this website, I know it was one of the websites that got me to really question some things in Scientology. Thanks Lawrence Wollersheim – for doing all you do!

Watchtower Society Found Guilty – A Landmark Win for Candice Conti / Church of Scientology Covers up Alexander Jentzsch’s rape at 12 yrs old

In a landmark case against The Watchtower Society (Jehova Witness), Candice Conti now 26, said from 1995-1996, when she was only 9 and 10 years old and a member of the North Fremont, Ca Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, she was repeatedly molested by a fellow congregant, Jonathan Kendrick.

Conti also claimed in her suit that the Watchtowers national leaders formed “church policy” in 1989 that instructed the religion’s elders to keep child sex abuse accusations secret. Congregation elders apparently followed that policy when Kendrick was convicted in 1994 of misdemeanor child molestation in Alameda County, according to Contis lawyer Simons. This is just another way for churches to try and maintain perfect public images.

Kendrick was never criminally charged in the case involving Conti, but besides the 1994 conviction, he was later convicted in 2004 for lewd or lascivious acts with a child, according to records.

In July 2012 a Northern California jury has awarded $28 million in damages to Candice Conti – “This is the largest jury verdict for a single victim in a religious child abuse case in the country,” said Simons.

This guilty verdict against the Watchtower should serve as notice to Scientology, Mormonism and the like – you can not keep hiding behind doctrine, your self serving church “policies” will not be tolerated any longer, human life is more important than your public image! Good trumps Evil – every time!!

And while we rejoice for Candice and her landmark win against The Watchtower Society we must not forget others are
mourning the loss of a young mans untimely death. Karen De La Carriere, the mother was not informed until days after the death of her son and was not allowed to attend her sons funeral service at the Church of Scientology.

A tragic story of Alexander Jentzsch (Scientology’s Former President Heber Jentzsch’s son) who recently passed away in early July. It was later found out he was raped at age 12 yrs old and was covered up by the Church of Scientology and it’s staff who knew about it. This story is an outrage!

See detailed story at this blog:
http://www.scientology-cult.com/statutory-rape-of-alexander-jentzsch.html

There is an ongoing investigation by the LAPD
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/19/alexander-jentzsch-dead-o_n_1687645.html

Child abuse and molestation has become headline news almost daily in our society. I just can’t rap my head around it, there’s absolutely nothing that would silence me if I had knowledge of a child being abused, in fact I’d probably take matters in my own hands out of pure anger and disgust!